A day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel to take
advantage of “this historic opportunity” to achieve peace via the imminent
direct negotiations, Hamas and 10 other radical Palestinian groups on Thursday
demanded that he resign because of his “failure to resist heavy American and
Israeli pressure” to abandon his preconditions for the talks.
resignation call was issued following a meeting of the groups’ heads in
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Izzat Risheq, a Hamas representative who attended the meeting,
said participants agreed that Abbas “was no longer trustworthy to look after the
interests of the Palestinian people and should therefore quit all his
Speaking during a meal he held to mark the breaking of
Wednesday’s Ramadan fast, Abbas declared that the Palestinians were
direct talks on September 2 of their own volition and with the hope of
peace with their neighbors.
“We are going to Washington to launch direct
talks under the sponsorship of the US and the presence of a
the Quartet of our own volition and national sense because we want
told his guests over the meal in his Mukata presidential compound in
“If there’s a 1 percent chance to achieve peace, we will go for
it out of conviction, because we want to achieve peace with our
Therefore we are going to Washington full of hope that we could reach a
comprehensive peace,” he said.
Referring to the PA’s previous conditions
for participating in direct talks with Israel, Abbas explained: “As
Palestinians, we’re not in a position that allows us to impose
party should be allowed to set preconditions before entering
He added that the issue of settlement construction was
mentioned in all bilateral agreements between the Israelis and
in most international accords.
“Since the Oslo Accords, we agreed that
neither party would take measures that would prejudice the outcome of
final-status negotiations,” Abbas said.
“This means that Israel would
refrain from changing the reality on the ground, while the Palestinians
refrain from unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state.”
He said that
the issue of settlements was mentioned in 2002’s road map for peace in
Middle East and in at least 15 UN resolutions, as well as in US
Obama’s address to the Arab and Islamic countries in Cairo shortly after
entered the White House last year.
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